Works of the First Two Centuries
I would like to ensure that my Early Christian Writings web site is complete.
There are currently 114 entries.
I would like to know if there are any other works mentioning Christianity,
extant in manuscripts or quotes, that may date to the second century.
Jewish and pagan writers who might have mentioned Christianity include Mara Bar
Serapion, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata,
and Galen. Mara Bar Serapion and Josephus are both controversial to some degree
as references to Christianity, but I have included them for general interest.
Celsus is included in the "Against Celsus" by Origen. Thallus and Phlegon would
be included if I knew of enough evidence to justify the hypothesis that they
mentioned Christians or Christianity. I will probably include Marcus Aurelius
in the future, who mentioned Christians in one passage (Meditations XI, 3):
"What a soul that is which is ready, if at any moment it must be separated from
the body, and ready either to be extinguished or dispersed or continue to exist;
but so that this readiness comes from a man's own judgement, not from mere
obstinacy, as with the Christians, but considerately and with dignity and in a
way to persuade another, without tragic show."
Is there any other outsider of the first two centuries who mentioned Jesus or
Christians? My memory wants to say something about a poet or a Stoic, but I am
Of the Nag Hammadi Library, I have included as almost certainly belonging to the
first or second century the works titled the Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Book
of James, the Dialogue of the Savior, and the Gospel of Truth. I have included
the Gospel of Mary as well, although that was not actually uncovered at Nag
Hammadi. Are there any other works from the NHL that may date to the second
century or first? And who are the authorities who have ventured a date for
Of the church fathers, I have included all that are present in the Ante-Nicene
Fathers compiled in the nineteenth century. Have we found any more 2nd c.
patristic writers since then? Or perhaps more works by these writers? I know
of the letter of Clement on Secret Mark.
Are there any other Christian books that may date to the first two centuries?
Perhaps books that have been preserved only in fragments or quotes?
What about lost books known to have been written by 200? I won't set up a
separate page for each, but it would be nice to have a list of mentioned lost
Thank you for your assistance.